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Lynette Nyman, Minneapolis Institute of Art, (612) 870-3173;
Tammy Pleshek, Minneapolis Institute of Art, (612) 870-3171;

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Art in Bloom 2007: An Italian Experience
Step into Italy for this year’s event, April 25–29 at the MIA

Minneapolis, February 28, 2007—Art in Bloom’s 2007 debut in the newly expanded Minneapolis Institute of Art will be like no previous arts-and-flowers festival. The MIA is simply larger this year than ever before, and more works of art are on view, meaning a greater variety of works are available for floral designers to interpret in this twenty-fourth annual fund-raiser presented by the Friends of the Institute.

“Using and enjoying the new wing is one of our main goals for Art in Bloom 2007,” said Vickie Foster, Co-chair, with June Kroog, of this year’s event (Honorary Chair 2007 is Carol Burton). “This is the first year artwork and floral arrangements will be showcased in the new space, and we are very excited about that.”

This year’s theme for the four-day festival, “An Italian Experience,” celebrates the glorious country of Italy, and the signature image is well suited in terms of color and vitality. French engraver Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer’s Vase of Flowers from the series, Books of Several Vases of Flowers Made after Nature, 1675–85, is a hand-colored engraving featuring a lush bouquet of flowers, grouped implausibly together from both spring and summer blooming seasons, in an Italianate vase—and the feeling is very “old European countryside.”

To advance the theme, Foster and Kroog have drawn ideas from Barbara Milo Ohrbach’s beautiful lifestyle book, Dreaming of Tuscany (Rizzoli, 2006). In fact, the Friends have invited the author, an expert on gracious living, whose many books, articles, television appearances, and lectures have won great acclaim, to speak during Art in Bloom. Her books will be available in the Garden & Gift Shop. Ohrbach will be signing books before and after her presentations.

“‘The Italian Experience’ will truly be an experience in every sense,” said Kroog. “You will hear Italian arias performed by [members of] the Minnesota Opera; you will taste and learn about fine Italian food and wines; you will see Italian art in a new way; and you will be touched in your heart by the tremendous effort put forth by the Friends of the Institute, who present this fabulous event every April.”

This year, Art in Bloom opens with a Gala Preview Party, “Evening in Venice,” on Wednesday, April 25. From Thursday, April 26, through Sunday, April 29, the museum will be filled with professionally crafted floral displays, plus more than one hundred pedestal pieces created by individual and garden-club floral artists. These arrangements will be on view next to the works of art that inspired them, and thousands of visitors will flock to the MIA to admire the flowers and vote for their favorite displays. Throughout the weekend, docent-led tours, lectures, demonstrations, luncheons, events, and the Garden & Gift Shop and Garden Guru Booth will be available to guests.

“Art in Bloom is a labor of love every year by hundreds of dedicated and enthusiastic Friends volunteers,” said Friends President Glenda Struthers. “Not only is the event a major fund-raiser for the Friends, but it also brings thousands of people to the museum for a joyful experience. Amazingly creative floral arrangements help us see the museum’s works of art in new ways.”

Ohrbach will present a travelogue through Tuscany at 10 a.m. on Thursday. At 2 p.m. that day, she will share ideas for creating tablescapes, as described in her best-selling book, Tabletops.

On Thursday evening, the popular “Flowers After Hours” will return, with Italian food and wine, an art trivia contest, a museum scavenger hunt, and a celebrity “Iron Florist” design competition. On Friday, Rosalind Creasy will present her lecture, “Edible Italian Gardens,” at 10 a.m. Friday evening, the museum will be open from 5 until 9 p.m., so visitors can enjoy “Italian Night Out” with wine, treats, live opera selections, and mini-classes on subjects such as cooking with flowers and creating pet-friendly gardens—plus the popular docent tour, “Love, Sex and Scandal.” The evening highlight will be an Italian wine tasting at 7:30 p.m. with culinary expert and world traveler Jack Farrell. Saturday’s lineup will include a 10:30 a.m. lecture with Bill McKay, who tells the story about heirloom seeds from the world-famous Italian Franchi Seed Company, and an afternoon family event from 1 to 4 p.m. inspired by Papa Piccolo, a beloved book by Carol Talley about a street-savvy tomcat in Venice. This free event is designed primarily for children ages 4 to 10.

The lectures, mini-classes, and wine tasting are ticketed events. Reservations are recommended. “Flowers After Hours,” “Italian Night Out,” and the Papa Piccolo family event are free, with food and beverage for purchase; no reservations are required. For the full, hour-by-hour lineup of events, please visit For phone reservations to particular ticketed events and luncheons, call (612) 870-6323.

Special thanks to our Honorary chair Carol Burton and to our underwriters Best Buy, Briggs and Morgan, PA., Jane Emison, Lakewood Cemetery, Kathy and Allen Lenzmeier, Ted and Roberta Mann Foundation and Blythe Brenden, Sheila Morgan, Nordstrom, Mary and Douglas Olson, and Vanguard Travel.

About the Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), home to one of the finest encyclopedic art collections in the country, houses nearly 100,000 works of art representing more than 5,000 years of world history. Highlights of the permanent collection include European masterworks by Rembrandt, Poussin, and van Gogh; modern and contemporary painting and sculpture by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Stella, and Close; as well as internationally significant collections of prints and drawings, decorative arts, Modernist design, photographs, and Asian, African, and Native American art. General admission is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. Museum hours: Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Closed Monday. For more information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit

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